Gluing cork to foam?

Discussion in 'FAQs' started by rogerw, Feb 3, 2008.

  1. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    Last night I glued a piece of cork roadbed to a piece of pink foam. Used straight white glue. Went up this morning to check it out and it was stuck together. It took a little bit of pressure but it did break loose. Will it help to do the 50/50 mixture with water and a drop of soap to hold better? Thanks
  2. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Not likely: it'll just take longer to dry. White glue is intended for porous material, like cork, but not foam. Several Members have had good success using latex caulk.

  3. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    Thanks Wayne. How about the track to cork then? Im guessing the track not being porous ,not so good? The glue did hold but soso. Thanks
  4. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    I think that the same people also use the caulk to fasten the track to the cork. Personally, I'd use Atlas track spikes, but I'm not a big fan of foam for a layout base - not that there's anything wrong with it, but I prefer wood. ;):-D

  5. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    For a solid cork-to-foam adhesive, caulking or liquid nails works well, but you have to hold it in place 'til it dries.

    Water-based contact cement works very well. Paint the cork and the foam with it, let it dry, then stick it down.

    As for laying the track, I much prefer to use spikes, since gluing the track down is a little too permanent. The unspoken assumption is that your trackwork is going to be perfect the first time you lay it. I know I'm not that good. :p :D
  6. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    I'm not sure why your cork is not permanently affixed to your foam after using white glue (Elmers or equivalent). That's all I have ever used. To take it back apart after discovering a mistake takes a putty knife, a lot of patience, and a lot of jabbing and even then, I usually end up tearing up the foam. As far as attaching the track to the cork, I use the appropriately sized rail nails through the holes in the center of the ties every 4-6"+/-. I have found the rail nails to give more than adequate grip when going through the cork and into the foam. Besides, once you apply and glue your ballast, you will have no problems. At least, I never have. Now if your using track that has no holes through the ties for rail spikes, that's a different story.
  7. Jim Krause

    Jim Krause Active Member

    I've used both carpenters glue and liquid nails. The latter works well for both track to roadbed and roadbed to foam.
  8. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Like TrainNut, I always use just the white glue. Deluting it is not a good idea. I also use straight pins to hold the cork in place until it drys. Again like TrainNut, I use rail nails to hold the track down until I ballast it. That seems to hold everything in place. The beauty of this is that you can make changes easily. Soak everything in water and it all comes up without a problem, well, almost anyway.:mrgreen: About the only thing that's not worth reusing is the cork roadbed and sometimes some of the track when you don't do it right and you pull the rails out of the ties.:rolleyes:
  9. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    Thanks all. I think I will use the straight white glue for cork to foam and nail the track to the cork. I would like to stay away from the caulk method(to permanent), Im not that confident that it will go good the first time around. Thanks again all
  10. Dansco

    Dansco Member

    Hey all, this helps me too.. one point for clarification..
    When using atlas code 83 flex track, what "rail nails" should I use for cork on foam, the roadbed will eventually be ballasted?

  11. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    YA what he said.:mrgreen:
  12. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

    I'm using adhesive caulk, and I use a stack of CD's about 15 in each stack, to weigh the foam roadbed down that I'm using. Keeps it from moving, and keeps it firmly pressed against the foam subbase.
  13. PWRR-2207

    PWRR-2207 Rogue Islander

    Foam, cork and track

    A low temp glue gun works well for cork-to-foam too. You can also use pins to hold the shape like this (click thumbnail to see full size picture and some tips):


    For track-to-cork I use Carpenters glue with a piece of a plastic milk carton I cut into squares as cheap, smooth and flexible spreaders. The pins help hold the shape and I stack books on top for an hour or two while the glue dries. (I also tried Liquid Nails for Small Projects but it gets gummy, does not spread as thin and easy as Carpenters glue, smells and sets too fast for me.)
  14. railwaybob

    railwaybob Member

    Try using "No-More Nails" or an equivalent glue. Buy the tube that fits into a caulking gun as it is easier to control the flow from the tube simply by squeezing the trigger of the caulking gun.

    For cork roadbed, squeeze a bead onto one half of the cork roadbed. Spread the glue out with a 2" spatula/ putty knife. Put the half of the cork roadbed in place along the centre-lines you marked for your tracks. Press it firmly into place. If needed (usually on sharp curves), use straight pins to hold the cork roadbed in place. Repeat the process for the other half of the roadbed. It will take 24 - 48 hours for the glue to dry. Remove the straight pins. It will take a hammer and chisel to remove the roadbed.

    To glue the track down to the cork roadbed, squeeze a bead or two of "No-More-Nails" down the length of the cork roadbed and spread it out over the area that the track will occupy with a 2" spatula/ putty knife. Lay and position your track and turnouts. Hold the track in place with straight pins or with weights where necessary until the glue dries. Straight pins usually are only required on curves. Remove the straight pins and weights when the glue dries.

    No muss, no fuss, no mess, no bother. Simply wash the spatula/ putty knife. And no rush waiting for white glue (or carpenter's glue) to dry and wondering whether the glue is holding the roadbed and track in place. As my modules get transported from my basement every 6 - 8 weeks, well-glued track and roadbed is most important for me.

    Bob M.
  15. Christopher62

    Christopher62 Member

    What would you all recommend to glue the foam to the plywood benchwork? I too want to use a foam base so I can carve ditches and streams and whatnot.

    Also, has anyone tried the Woodland Scenics Roadbed/Track-Bed? And if so how were the results? Thanks guys.
  16. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    Ok picked up this at wally world today
    I tried it out and seems to hold better than regular white glue. Its easy just spray on and says it can be used on cork, foam, plastic yada yada yada. Its also acid free so I wont have any flashbacks from the seventies:mrgreen:
  17. PWRR-2207

    PWRR-2207 Rogue Islander


    I used a low temp glue gun for foam-to-wood (and foam-to-foam). I have also used Liquid Nails for Small Projects with good success for foam-to-wood.

    Sorry, I never tried the WS Roadbed/Track-Bed.
  18. roch

    roch Member

    Great thread, when I get some cork I will follow train nut and ezdays advice. :thumb:

  19. jbaakko

    jbaakko Active Member

    I use it exclusively, its great, and super quiet!

    I used the same glue on some stuff, but had major issues with ungluing, even with coating both surfaces. It was a paper-cardboard gluing job, for my wife.
  20. Squidbait

    Squidbait Recovering ALCO-holic

    I've used the Track Bed quite a bit. It works well over foam, and OK over plywood. Just OK, because I prefer spiking my track down over gluing, and plywood doesn't take spikes very easily.

    It is much quieter than cork, and doesn't dry out and get crumbly the way cork will over time.

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